Twitter Launches ‘Political Index’ on 2012 Election, Measuring User Sentiment Toward Obama and Romney


Twitter has launched a "political index" which measures sentiment toward Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and reports it on a daily basis.

Buzzfeed has the details:

Twitter is launching a tool today that it says will fill that gap, and sort through the 400 million tweets a day from 140 million active users. Twitter and real-time search engine Topsy are launching the "Twitter Political Index," a daily assessment of how Twitter feels about Obama and Romney, in an election cycle that's being played out moment-to-moment on the social service.

The index, which Twitter has retained Democratic and Republican polling firms (the Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research) to help perfect, appears to be the most serious and large-scale effort yet at a metric that has so far produced a lot of flops.

The rough version of how it works: Topsy pores through every single tweet in real time, determines which ones are about Obama or Romney, and then assigns a sentiment score to each tweet based on its content. That is, whether it's positive or negative toward Obama or Romney, and just how positive or negative it is. Add all the data up together and you have something like a real-time approval score for Obama and Romney, determined by what tens of millions of people are saying, which Twitter is going to release daily at


  1. sara says

    Um–wouldn’t each campaign just have someone write on Twitter to game this? Seems like a waste. Every site I’m on are littered with Romneybots or Obamabots. It’s hard to find any real opinions.

  2. gr8guyca says

    What’s the point? It’s going to skew young, urban, coastal, tech-friendly, and people with too much time on their hands.

    Anyway, even national polls are meaningless. The only polls that matter are those that measure the swing states.

  3. Graphicjack says

    If only these Twitter-ites would vote! It takes less time to vote than it does to make 10 pro-Obama tweets… Less tweeting, more VOTING youth of America!

  4. John says

    I’m fairly certain that Twitter users represent a younger demographic, overall, than the general population. So, while this is an interesting metric, but it sounds flawed.

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